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Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk

HaintedHainted by Jordan L. Hawk
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Self
Novel:  94,378 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  3
 

The Good Guy: Haint-working runs in Dan Miller’s blood. Not everyone can help the restless dead cross over, especially when the haunting threatens the Living. But the death of his parents six years ago forced Dan to give it up in exchange for raising his brother and sister, all the while struggling to keep their rural NC farm afloat.

So when the flamboyantly goth Leif Helsvin shows up on Dan’s doorstep looking for help with an evil necromancer named Rúnar, Dan’s first instinct is to turn him down. With two teenagers to look after, he’s already got all the trouble he can handle. Besides, the sexy Leif is too much of a temptation, and Dan is firmly in the closet.

The Bad Boy: Pierced, tattooed Leif never has sex with the same guy twice. It keeps things simple, especially since his oath to stop Rúnar has him constantly drifting from one town to the next.

But this time, it looks like Leif is going to need help, in the form of the very down-to-earth Dan. Since Nice Guys are off the menu, Leif just has to keep his hands to himself for as long as it will take to stop Rúnar’s latest scheme. But as Leif finds himself drawn deeper into Dan’s life, he quickly realizes he’s not just in danger of breaking the rules, but breaking his heart as well.

Excerpt

This was an interesting book.  I thought that the use of the word “hainted” was different.  I’ve never heard it used.  The author seems to lump a lot of supernatural phenomena into “hainted”.  I thought it was just ghosts but it is also anything to do with the dead except the living that deal with the dead.

Dan is stuck in time in my mind.  Because of his parents death he takes over the family farm and raising his two young siblings.  He knows he is gay and did have a little experience when he went to college for the short time he did.  Coming back he is forced back in the closet and so REALLY shuts himself in there.  He doesn’t seem to me to mature past that point.  Not that he is immature in raising his siblings but in dealing with a relationship he is still a newbie.  He is almost innocent.  Leif is anything but innocent.  His childhood was destroyed and he ran away to the streets when he was 14.  He hooked and did drugs.  When he left that life he traveled the world but did horrible things that he is trying to atone for.  Leif was a child still when he was taken in by Runar.  Runar was evil but all Leif saw was salvation.  Due to all of this Leif is not innocent.  Yet when it comes to good people and a healthy relationship Leif is lost as well.

I loved these two together.  They make sense.  Together they are a great team.  Now the action involved in the storyline was interesting if a little…flat.  I just didn’t get into the fight scenes.  I had a hard time with the whole antler and it hitting the right spot.  Just didn’t feel right.

The author makes an easy setting for the story, modern in the country, and uses the world building for the paranormal aspect.  This was a good story overall but felt a bit sappy toward the end.  I was expecting it to me more hard edged and instead the characters become a bit too gushy.  The bad guy was all bad.  (Yeah, he liked Leif but just wanted to have him.)  Yet I didn’t get that icy feel from him.  With this being the story it is you would expect a cold, icy edge to the bad guy but I just didn’t get that.

Overall an enjoyable read.  I wish the last half had been a little harder then I think I would have enjoyed it more.  Still a good story with all the stuff people love.

rose-3

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Ghosts of Alcatraz by Carol Lynne

Ghosts of AlcatrazGhosts of Alcatraz by Carol Lynne
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Wilde City Press
Short Story:  33,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  5
 

Love is a powerful force. Unparalleled, unpredictable and often unforeseen. Yet it can surface in the most dangerous of situations. Suffocation, mutilation and dismemberment aren’t the normal outside influences that bring two people together, but inside the newly refurbished Alcatraz Prison, anything can happen.

As inmates begin dying in shocking and sometimes gruesome ways, the deaths prompt Warden Jensen Black to bring in sexy parapsychologist, Brian Phipps. With the help of Brian, Jensen hopes to get to the bottom of what is killing the men he is responsible for. But what he didn’t count on is falling—and falling hard—for the smaller man with the heart of a lion. The question is: will their love survive against the ghosts of Alcatraz?

Excerpt

Jensen is in charge of a newly reopened Alcatraz.  These prisoners are being held for cyber crimes.  That is way it is eerie when the prisoners start dying off.  The last victim is videoed tearing himself apart.  Jensen doesn’t believe this is an event that could even happen so he calls his boss and friend who hooks him up with Brian.  Brian is in the family business of fighting ghosts.  What he faces in Alcatraz is more than he expect though.

As a paranormal story goes this one had a great plot, it was full of action and danger.  The author did a wonderful job in keeping the world simple but creating such atmosphere.  The characters were well written and engaging.  The love relationship happens quickly and is quite intense.  I don’t think this is a stretch.  The conditions in the story make it very conceivable.  The ending of the story was dramatic and well done.  I would love if the author does go ahead and makes a series out of this book like she hints at in the ending of the book.

rose-5